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Gresham cops bust serial Safeway thief


Portland woman fenced small, high-priced items online

Gresham police arrested a woman accused of stealing small, high-priced items valued at thousands of dollars from Safeway stores all over the area, then sold them online through “an organized fencing operation she created,” said Detective John Rasmussen, public information officer for the Gresham Police Department.

by: COURTESY PHOTO: MULTNOMAH COUNTY - Tawni HudsonTawni Marie Hudson, 39, of Portland was arrested Thursday, Jan. 23, near the intersection of Southeast 181st Avenue and Southeast Burnside Street. She was caught with "numerous stolen items, including mineral supplements, Rogaine, Sonicare replacement toothbrush heads, and multiple packs of Frontline topical flea and tick prevention for pets,” according to the press release. “This relatively small amount of recovered stolen merchandise is valued at nearly $600.”

Gresham police assisted Safeway's Organized Retail Crime Investigators in the arrest. The Safeway investigators received a tip about Hudson in October of last year and had been investigating her since.

“The three-month investigation into Hudson's activities showed her utilizing social media sites similar to craigslist and eBay to conduct her scheme and sell the stolen items,” according to a press release from Gresham police. “Investigators have identified Hudson as the suspect in dozens of thefts from local Safeway stores across the Portland metropolitan area, from Gresham to Beaverton.”

Hudson was charged with 43 counts of theft. The charges include 30 counts of first-degree theft, 11 counts of second-degree theft, two counts of third-degree theft, and one count each of computer crime and organized retail theft. She was booked into the Multnomah County jail with a total bail of $184,500.

Hudson also had an arrest warrant from Washington County for probation violation relating to a possession of methamphetamine case and a warrant from Clackamas County for second-degree theft, according to Gresham police.